Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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reflections at the end of the year.


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Sun, 29 Dec 2019 #1
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5546 posts in this forum Offline

The present civilization is based on greed and individual competition; it cannot last forever, because it has no intrinsic value. The individual, who has created and is dominated by this civilization, is caught up in accumulation, which is his sole incentive; that is, the individual tries to express his ambition and attain his desired social position through the accumulation of wealth and power. He has therefore set up social distinctions and such a civilization, based on ruthless selfishness, must eventually break down. It is merely a matter of time. As long as you have this conception of individuality, which is but selfishness and greed, no civilization, no structure built on it can last, nor can it free the mind from sorrow.

K, 1932

"Merely a matter of time" - it certainly seems that that time is running out rapidly

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Sun, 29 Dec 2019 #2
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5546 posts in this forum Offline

Some reflections at the end of the year

I am sure that I do not have to describe “the state of the world” to anyone here. The facts are as they are. We are rapidly destroying the life-supporting capacity of the planet, we are driving other species to extinction. We have no thought for the future, for the future of our children. We are killing each other, we permit vast inequality, so many people lack the basic necessities of life. Children are dying of malnutrition and easily preventable diseases, and sometimes starvation. Really it is impossible to find words strong enough to describe the insanity of what human beings are doing, how they are living.

One is reminded of K’s comment, that “If a lunatic had designed the world, he couldn’t have done a better job”

Everything is collapsing because of the way we are living, the selfishness, the blindness, the apparent lack of any sort of caring. 90% of the people live in abject air pollution, most are destroying their own bodies with a diet of junk. Homelessness and great poverty is increasingly accepted as the everyday norm, even in ‘rich’ western societies. We have created a society,as I have quoted before, “where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy.” .... one could add much more

We see more more extreme right, fascist leaders coming to power, and behaving with absolute impunity. And some of these are voted into power, in democracies, and their utterly irresponsible actions, insane actions, continue to be supported by a majority of people. We see government completely controlled by big business, industry setting their own laws and regulations to suite themselves, government that is that blatantly corrupt, within and outside of the law.

When people show any sort compassion to refugees, to the homeless, that compassion is often turned into a crime.

Clinical depression is rapidly rising, all sorts of mental disease are increasing, especially among children. It seems the people who do manage to ‘function’ only do so by surviving on drugs, both pharmaceutical and illegal.

And the psychological factors behind all this insane behaviour are actually inculcated in schools, in the way children are raised. The self reigns supreme.

People cling to the very things that bring division and violence, like nationality, religious belief, race. And these identifications are admired, they demand, and are given, respect. Selfishness, the pursuit of power, is actually respected.

There is all this chaos, and much much more, and yet people seem to go about their daily lives as if everything is fine. Their only concern is their own self interest, and that of their families. They devote themselves to the accumulation of wealth, as if they can forever live within their own walls. And again, such a way of living is respected; the most successful are admired. Society is basically immoral, although it disguises this through the cultivation of ideals.

I am not talking just because of what I read, I observe the people around me, those I relate to – there is such conflict, such sadness and suffering in their lives.


I know this is an incomplete picture, all descriptions are. I hope to return to it soon, and of course other people are welcome to comment

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Mon, 30 Dec 2019 #3
Thumb_spock Douglas MacRae-Smith France 144 posts in this forum Offline

And a happy new year to you too!

Sorry to be a contrarian, but what about the people looking at the figures and concluding that everythings improving (apart from the ecological disasters on the horizon of course)? And those that say we are mentally hard wired to think that we live in the worst of times? And what about the people spending their holidays setting up illegal shelters for the homeless?

Look, see, let go

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Wed, 01 Jan 2020 #4
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5546 posts in this forum Offline

Douglas MacRae-Smith wrote:
Sorry to be a contrarian, but what about the people looking at the figures and concluding that everythings improving (apart from the ecological disasters on the horizon of course)? And those that say we are mentally hard wired to think that we live in the worst of times?

I am happy to be challenged, Douglas. It is good to have what we say challenged.

What about the facts? What about what we see happening in front of our eyes?

There is always a spectrum of 'opinion', on just about any matter. And as I have seen very clearly examining the phenomena of climate change denial, there are always people with some sort of bizarre vested interest who put their energy into distorting the facts, cherry-picking the facts,misrepresenting the facts. And not just with climate change. “Roundup doesn’t hurt you” “Coal can be clean energy”, “cigarettes don’t cause cancer” and so on and on. I think we know that not everything we read on the internet is true! And look at Trump’s record of lying! According to the Washing Post, in his first 1055 days in office, he told 15,413 lies. Of course you could claim that the Washington Post is lying.

Best to put opinion aside all together. I do have respect for the scientific method, the scientific mind, while knowing scientists are also human beings with their corruption,. But I think the overall picture of decline is very clear, don't you? What exactly is claimed to be “improving” in the world? I guess the capacity for surgery could be a candidate, but even prolonging people’s lives brings its own problems.

Douglas MacRae-Smith wrote:
And what about the people spending their holidays setting up illegal shelters for the homeless?

I am not denying there is some movement of kindness and altruism in humankind. And there are many people who are striving, in different fields, to “make things better”. I have no objection to this, people should follow their hearts, but overwhelmingly people are trying to solve problems at the same level as the problem. Is that clear? There are many people worki ng trying to reverse climate change, specialists, but even if they succeed (which to me looks very doubtful) they have not touched the root of the human problem, and more crises, perhaps even more threatening, will appear. In fact there already ARE many other desperate crises.

K frequently said that the real crisis is in the human mind. Isn’t that clear? Do you disagree with that, Douglas? And would you not agree that all the crises that manifest in the human world are actually manifestations of that one fundamental crisis?

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Wed, 01 Jan 2020 #5
Thumb_spock Douglas MacRae-Smith France 144 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
What about the facts? What about what we see happening in front of our eyes?

There is always a spectrum of 'opinion', on just about any matter.

If we have 1 apple, then someone gives us 2 more apples, we now have 3 apples. It is a mathematical fact that 3 apples is more than 1 apple. And if more apples is better than less apples, we may affirm that factually things have improved.

However, I may have seen a report on the news about a spectacular apple theft. And my grandma often told me of the terrible apple famine that the family endured back in the day. So when I look at my 3 apples my opinion is that there just aren't enough apples, that we must get more apples and also do everything possible to protect these apples.

Yes, the crisis is in the mind.

If we look at all the figures to do with wellbeing over the last few hundred years; be it war, violent death at the hands of others, famine, disease, education, poverty, equality; all have improved dramatically. These are the facts.

But when I switch on the news, all I see is war, anger, violence. And even in my home town there are burnt cars and stories of elderly folk being violently burgled. So I see violence and bad omens and in my opinion things are going from bad to worse.

Yes, the crisis is in the mind.

Look, see, let go

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Wed, 01 Jan 2020 #6
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3093 posts in this forum Offline

K. “ As long as you have this conception of individuality, which is but selfishness and greed, “

Sadly the whole world seems to worship this concept of ‘me’...the individual. I know in my own life, this was practically the first lesson I learned as a very young child. How can there be cooperation when each of us feels that ‘I am the most important one’ Me and my desires and goals first and foremost

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Wed, 01 Jan 2020.

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Wed, 01 Jan 2020 #7
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3093 posts in this forum Offline

Clive:
K frequently said that the real crisis is in the human mind. Isn’t that clear? Do you disagree with that, Douglas? And would you not agree that all the crises that manifest in the human world are actually manifestations of that one fundamental crisis?

Is it the division between ‘me’ and ‘you’ or us vs them that is the main cause? Or is it the totality of the me....the self? I guess the answer to that is obvious

Let it Be

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Wed, 01 Jan 2020 #8
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5546 posts in this forum Offline

Douglas MacRae-Smith wrote:
If we have 1 apple, then someone gives us 2 more apples, we now have 3 apples. It is a mathematical fact that 3 apples is more than 1 apple. And if more apples is better than less apples, we may affirm that factually things have improved.

i am not sure that I understand your general drift, Douglas.
But your statement:

If we look at all the figures to do with wellbeing over the last few hundred years; be it war, violent death at the hands of others, famine, disease, education, poverty, equality; all have improved dramatically. These are the facts.

is certainly up for question. Yes, I remember reading an article claiming this. But it seemed a load of nonsense to me, with much ‘cherry-picking’ of the facts, great distortion. Yes, there has been 'progress in certain global indicators. But still a child dies of easily preventable causes every 5 seconds, and in some places that is 60 times more likely to happen than other places.

The last century saw two world wars in which perhaps 100 million people died (the majority if them civilians". Since then we have lived under the shadow of a possible nuclear war that would certainly destroy pretty much all living things on the planet (look up “nuclear winter”) and if you are sanguine about the intelligence of our leaders never to start such a thing, well I am not. On several occasions we have been on the brink because of an accident, a mal-functioning of a piece of technology.

If I may quote Albert Einstein:

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

He may have been over optimistic about assuming there would be anyone left to fight WW4.

Insects and birds are disappearing at an alarming rate, we are destroying the very top soil which feeding ourselves depends upon, there are more refugees than since the second world war. Many part of the world are facing crisis in water supply. And so on and on.

To become anecdotal and local, here in NZ there were no stars last night. Not that it was a cloudy night. And this morning I stared at a red sun – i was able to stare at it for minutes. I refer to the ash/smoke cloud, as big as the South Island, which has drifted over from the fires in Australia.

Being in denial about what the human race is doing, the problems it is facing, I think IS one of the greatest problems. If we do not face ‘what is’, there can be no possibility of changing what is, is there? Including, of course, within ourselves. It is not alarmist to face what is.

I am not arguing that the fundamental psyche of human beings has changed much over the last tens of thousands of years. But

1) we now possess a technology that means that psyche now has the means of destroying the planet. And we are putting a lot of energy into developing new “better” weapons.

2) Somehow – and I do not fully claim to understand this – the human mind is in a state of advanced deterioration. Perhaps there has been so much violence, so much hatred poured into it for so long – and so little love, so little intelligence.

K often said that the broad historical forces must take their course. Their “brutal, cruel, indifferent course”.

We can analyse the world situation indefinitely. Many experts do, it does not seem to bring about any great change, or perhaps any change at all. But to analyse is not to FEEL the enormity of it all. No one with the slightest touch of sensitivity can be indifferent to all the horrors of the world. Surely we cannot feel sanguine about the state of affairs? Surely we cannot be only concerned with our own little personal island of security? Or rather the illusion of it.

What is our response to all this? Rather than get lost in comparisons, rather than argue about the exact degree of deterioration, that is the question we need to be concerned with, is it not?

Anyway Douglas, good to see that we agree that the real crisis is in the mind.

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Wed, 01 Jan 2020.

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Wed, 01 Jan 2020 #9
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5546 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Sadly the whole world seems to worship this concept of ‘me’...the individual. I know in my own life, this was practically the first lesson I learned as a very young child.

It is very strange, is it not, that not only is it not much recognised that the self IS the basic problem, the self is, as you say, sort of worshiped?

And generally the solution to the problems that the self has created is seen as somehow "a stronger self", or "a better self". What hope is there of any change when this is the attitude, this concept is actually conditioned into us?

Tom Paine wrote:
How can there be cooperation when each of us feels that ‘I am the most important one’ Me and my desires and goals first and foremost

Indeed.

And by extension of the self, nations cannot cooperate. We have just seen COP25 fail to come to any real agreement about meeting the problem of climate change. After 25 meetings, they cannot agree to meet a problem that threatens to destroy most life on Earth!

The word I keep falling back to is "insane".

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Wed, 01 Jan 2020 #10
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5546 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Is it the division between ‘me’ and ‘you’ or us vs them that is the main cause? Or is it the totality of the me....the self? I guess the answer to that is obvious

Somehow the self regards itself as separate from everything Even, in a way, from itself.

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Wed, 01 Jan 2020 #11
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3093 posts in this forum Offline

Clive: Somehow the self regards itself as separate from everything Even, in a way, from itself.

Of course....I want to smoke but another separate fragment of me says, ‘Do NOT smoke’.

Let it Be

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Wed, 01 Jan 2020 #12
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3093 posts in this forum Offline

And generally the solution to the problems that the self has created is seen as somehow "a stronger self", or "a better self".

This is exactly what my Christian friends believe. By following the Bible they will have a better self.... be more kind, generous, compassionate....be a better person....be good...be pure....be saved. And the scholar wants to have more wisdom and greater intelligence which will solve mans problems....but with the intellect. The scientists as well of course

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Wed, 01 Jan 2020.

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Wed, 01 Jan 2020 #13
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1647 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
good to see that we agree that the real crisis is in the mind.

Is the 'real' crisis in the mind that it 'concludes' rather than moves with (enquires into) 'what is'? Which is not to say that your conclusions are 'wrong', I agree with what you say...but do we slip out of the flying and rest on a branch putting our thoughts together while the world goes by. Is that the radical part of the K. and the Christian teaching, that "man hath not where to lay his head"? Is that the "crisis of the mind", that it does not realize that?

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Thu, 02 Jan 2020 #14
Thumb_spock Douglas MacRae-Smith France 144 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
I remember reading an article claiming this. But it seemed a load of nonsense to me, with much ‘cherry-picking’ of the facts, great distortion.

The article was probably about the work of Steven Pinker (prof. of cognitive science) here's a short talk from the man about the subject is the world getting better or worse?
and here's an earlier one the surprising decline in violence

Look, see, let go

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Thu, 02 Jan 2020 #15
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3093 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Is the 'real' crisis in the mind that it 'concludes' rather than moves with (enquires into) 'what is'?

The human mind is full of conclusions, isn't it? That's for sure part of the crisis...beliefs, conclusions, ideals, goals, etc. 'Me first', as we were discussing previously....me and my desires, my beliefs, opinions, conclusions, etc. I would say, ANY knowledge in the psychological realm...any knowledge other than practical and scientific knowledge is what has caused the crisis...dividing man. A conclusion is based upon knowledge isn't it? I know better than you. I'm separate from you. I'm right and you're wrong. How do I know I'm right? I simply KNOW I'm right....right?

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 02 Jan 2020.

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Thu, 02 Jan 2020 #16
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1647 posts in this forum Offline

Check out ‘This has been the best year ever ‘ by Nicholas kristof op ed article in the New York Times December 28, 2019. It’s well written I thought.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Thu, 02 Jan 2020.

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Thu, 02 Jan 2020 #17
Thumb_stringio Huguette . Canada 797 posts in this forum Offline

Dan,

It's not comfortable for me to say so, but I disagree.

As I see it, human consciousness itself was just as fragmented and self-centred in the days of Abraham, the Pharaos and other rulers, or the wild wild west, the Salem witch trials, the Inquisition, and so on, as it is now - as evidenced by history.

Human consciousness is not worse then than now --- nor worse now than before, as I see it. Even if comparatively this has been "the best year ever" thanks to technological improvements in some areas (which I'm not dismissing as unimportant), the crisis in consciousness is more dangerous globally now than ever due to the same technological evolution coupled with the ignorance of conditioning. Technological evolution in itself cannot solve humanity's fundamental problems of consciousness.

The important, the crucial thing is not whether things are better or worse in some areas now than before. If it is just a trend, the trend can reverse and go the other way. No? The root of the crisis remains the same. Technology can't eradicate the crisis. Even if one were to conclude that “this has been the best year ever” - comparatively - it is not because there has been a mutation in the workings of the mind, not because mankind’s self-centredness has been eradicated or has even abated.

Personally, nothing pointed to in the op-ed has any effect on the perception of the human crisis caused by the self-centre. The op-ed writer comes to the conclusion that things are better than they have ever been by measuring, calculating and comparing fragments, trends in certain areas. This in no way actually affects what is or the mind’s perception of what is, does it? This is no way affects fear, greed, deceit, corruption, injustice, and so on. At least, it doesn’t for me.

Do the writer’s analysis, measures and comparisons actually have any effect on the mind’s inner experiencing of all that is seen in “the world”? For me, it has no impact whatsoever. Perhaps it does for you? I could be wrong.

Added: Top CEOs [in Canada] made as much as average worker earns in a year by mid-morning today.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/business/top-ceos-made-a...

This post was last updated by Huguette . Thu, 02 Jan 2020.

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Thu, 02 Jan 2020 #18
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3093 posts in this forum Offline

Dan and all,

Of course this getting better or worse idea doesn’t help those living under a brutal dictator in N. Korea...or slaving away for a pittance in a brutal sweat shop in Bangladesh or China. Or the millions suffering drug and alcohol abuse in the Western world...not to mention depression. Did the writer take into account the ‘inner’ man?

Let it Be

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Thu, 02 Jan 2020 #19
Thumb_spock Douglas MacRae-Smith France 144 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette wrote:
human consciousness itself was as fragmented and self-centred in the days of Abraham, the Pharaos and other rulers, or the wild wild west, the Salem witch trials, the Inquisition, and so on, as it is now - as evidenced by history. Human consciousness is not worse then than now --- nor worse now than before.

I'm not sure you are disagreeing with any of the preceeding posts - in fact I'd hasard the guess that most here would agree with the general gist of what you are saying

Look, see, let go

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Thu, 02 Jan 2020 #20
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5546 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Check out ‘This has been the best year ever ‘ by Nicholas kristof op ed article in the New York Times December 28, 2019. It’s well written I thought.

Thanks, Dan, but I don’t find this a worthwhile thing to pursue, to put energy into. I prefer to trust in the evidence of my senses, rather than immerse myself in clever arguments. Just from the direct and indirect contacts with people that I have, I see deep unhappiness, profound suffering. I see how unthinking people are with each other – which is to put it mildly, I could use the words cruel, violent. I see how everyone is suffering from deep hurt, and the distortions that arise from that hurt, that trauma. I see the neuroticism, and often deep depression. I see how people’s lives are dominated by fear, and by pleasure seeking.

I see how parents treat their children. I know what goes on in schools, how competition and self aggrandizement are inculcated. I see how people devote their lives to the accumulation of wealth and luxury for themselves and their families, and how much this is respected in society. I see the basic immorality of society, and its pretences, its hypocrisies, its talk of “love”, “peace”, its claims to be other than it is.

I see all the escapes that people indulge in – just up the road - the drinking, the drugs, the incredible energy they put into entertainment, while everything is collapsing around them. And frankly I see the stupidity of people. Perhaps better to call it ignorance. But we ARE stupid, we are stupified, it seems that we cannot act to change things.

I am not being romantic, or theoretical about all this. I do actually see it, I come into contact with it, not just reading about it, not just watching the news – although that also brings more horrors.

This exists. Although we may talk about “getting worse” or “not getting worse”, although we may make comparisons and argue, that is really immaterial. All this is what is actually happening, now. I breath in the pollution. I see the nonsensical stuff being sold in shops. This is the state the human race is in, and it is horrible, appalling, terrible, devastating, insane, and I do not know why we are not all shedding tears about it.

And yes, I am the world. It is all in me.

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Thu, 02 Jan 2020.

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Thu, 02 Jan 2020 #21
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3093 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
I am not being romantic, or theoretical about all this. I do actually see it, I come into contact with it, not just reading about it, not just watching the news – although that also brings more horrors.

Same here. Of course technology has increased our life span tremendously over the past few hundred years....and yes, no one wants a tooth pulled without anesthesia. But human suffering is still immense...and the suffering that many of us impose on others...even in the family....is truly tragic. I lived it when young, and I feel deeply the pain of those going through ‘inner’ pain. But today we have so many marvelous escapes that many don’t see the horror of the human condition. Just turn on the TV or play a game on your phone and your suffering is temporarily relieved. And you don’t have to look at the poor homeless beggars, the alcoholics and drug addicts....the armed security guards in school. In my youth it would have been unimaginable that a high school would need armed security guards. And why are they armed? To protect against the violent students. And school shootings were totally unheard of. Some high school boys ....and even younger...would literally be committing sexual assault and physically assaulting teachers if not for armed security guards in school. Are things bad today?

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 02 Jan 2020.

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Thu, 02 Jan 2020 #22
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1647 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Do the writer’s analysis, measures and comparisons actually have any effect on the mind’s inner experiencing of all that is seen in “the world”? For me, it has no impact whatsoever. Perhaps it does for you?

No. There were over 750 comments to the article which i was curious to read and they pretty much spanned the spectrum from like to dislike. But nothing touched upon this idea that the human consciousness has not evolved. It has always been self-centered. That seems to not be recognized generally and if it is, what to 'do' about it not approached. Except of course, make the self better, kinder, wiser...I have been looking closely at this idea that the 'root of Mankind's problem lies in thought's identification with the senses and sensation'. I posted yesterday that it struck me as funny the thought"I am going to take a shower" and the image of thought doing such a thing. And the same again just now with the thought, "I am going to take a walk"...the humor may not be evident: thought walking? Anyway I'd like a smarter brain than mine to give this a look. It occurred to me that the "mystery" of why thought identifies itself with sensation is so it can 'do' all these things. It can 'shower' and 'walk' and dance and sing and jump for joy! By identifying itself with the sensations of the body, it is no longer just a 'tool', or a verbal material process that functions from memory and expresses itself in words, sentences, using syntax and language all strung together by 'association'... Now through identification, it has become an 'entity'! The 'self' at the center of everything! Is this crazy?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Thu, 02 Jan 2020.

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Fri, 03 Jan 2020 #23
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3093 posts in this forum Offline

Clive:
This exists. Although we may talk about “getting worse” or “not getting worse”, although we may make comparisons and argue, that is really immaterial. All this is what is actually happening, now. I breath in the pollution. I see the nonsensical stuff being sold in shops. This is the state the human race is in, and it is horrible, appalling, terrible, devastating, insane, and I do not know why we are not all shedding tears about it.

Better or worse? Regardless of what some academic ‘experts’ say, human beings have not changed in the least. I still hear people spouting the same horrific anti Semitic remarks that were common in Hitler’s day. The physical conditions of our lives due to science and technology and our life expectancy has obviously improved, yet there’s no evidence at all that the human mind has changed. Just look at the Middle East. They’re still beheading their enemies like in the Middle Ages! Just look around your town or city and open your eyes and ears.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Fri, 03 Jan 2020.

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Sat, 04 Jan 2020 #24
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5546 posts in this forum Offline

I watched the news this morning, about the drone assassination in Iraq. As a good news station should do, Al Jazeera first got comment from the Irani side, and then the American side. And “never the twain shall meet”.

It seemed to exemplify all that is wrong with human affairs. The reason why there is such conflict, at a national level, and down to personal relationship. Each having their own view of things, their own convictions, their own conclusions. And each side so absolutely convinced that their perspective, their point of view, is the the correct one, and the other side is utterly wrong. And it has set so solid in the political arena – and maybe in a marriage of long standing. No, they will not drop the past, which is the one thing that is needed to resolve conflict.

Of course one can see this division in oneself. For every thought there is an opposing thought. The more one looks, the more one sees this. Trying to ‘do something about it’ only widens the division.

What can be done about this state of affairs? This is such a pressing question. It is clear that the political leaders will not change. They are mostly in power because others share their viewpoints, and want to keep other view points out. One sees no possibility of change there. But in oneself?

I think one does at least see the situation, see how things are, how thought is fragmented, divided, and how it battles itself. I don’t think that one deliberately takes sides – I mean identifies with one viewpoint rather than another. Even if something appears to be so, because of one’s direct observations, I think one is willing to question it. Yet this fundamental division of thought, this dualism as it called, remains. Thought cannot win over itself.

What is the answer? If I have one conviction it is that thought does not have the answer to our basic problems, or problem. If someone thinks it has, please show me.

Seems this post could go in any of the existing threads.

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Sat, 04 Jan 2020 #25
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5546 posts in this forum Offline

Huguette . wrote:
Added: Top CEOs [in Canada] made as much as average worker earns in a year by mid-morning today.

And added this extract from a mail from a scientist to a friend:

I will take a look at the programme on meat production. Sadly this is only one of a series of major threats to the planet and I am fairly pessimistic about the longer term future. The speed of emerging climate change is quite frightening. From 2000-2010 I worked in a group of scientists looking to mitigate climate-impacts and the consensus was that we would start to notice significant impacts by about 2050. What we are seeing is much faster change than this and this is what is most worrying. Just today, Norway had its hottest January day on record and Australia is literally burning up with heat.

The societal changes that are needed to make a significant difference are profound and, even then the UK produces less than 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions and we rely on every other country taking similar drastic action. I just can’t see this being delivered politically as it would curtail the “modern-lifestyle” we are all used to to such an extent. So I can’t see a practical deliverable solution to address climate change and this is depressing.

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Sat, 04 Jan 2020 #26
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5546 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Is that the "crisis of the mind", that it does not realize that?

It would be good to enquire into exactly what is the crisis of the mind, since one refers to it so much.

In one sense it is obvious, people's actions are dictated by the self, by greed, be fear, by desire. And these things take precedence over rationality - that rationality including the perception that being concerned so narrowly with oneself, brings great chaos and conflict to the world.

So we have to enquire why we persist with this? The human race appears to be on the verge of destroying itself, yet it won't change. This is obviously a crisis. We have reached the point when it is very clear that there is no security in isolation. Yet people keep trying, and that trying is a large part of the problem.

But one also reaches the point where one realises one has to ask these questions of oneself, not of "people". Most people won't change. Will I change? Can I change? And what does it mean to change? What is involved in changing?

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Sat, 04 Jan 2020 #27
Thumb_spock Douglas MacRae-Smith France 144 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
But one also reaches the point where one realises one has to ask these questions of oneself, not of "people". Most people won't change. Will I change? Can I change? And what does it mean to change? What is involved in changing?

Well we tend to hold on to opinions - In the above discussion, we got 2 sides of the same story. Some were describing the continuing inner turmoil of humanity, and others were describing the progress in outer wellbeing. So did we come out of the discussion with a more nuanced view of the world? Or were we only capable of holding and defending our point of view - or maybe a bit of both?

Look, see, let go

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Sat, 04 Jan 2020 #28
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1647 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
But one also reaches the point where one realises one has to ask these questions of oneself, not of "people". Most people won't change. Will I change? Can I change? And what does it mean to change? What is involved in changing?

Do we take it as a seen fact that the "root problem of humanity is the identification of thought with the senses, with sensation"? And not just "humanity's" problem, but the root problem in me? And if that is seen in me as the possible root problem and that everything else flows from that identification, then what can be done about it? As some of us have realized, it's fairly easy to no longer identify with organized religion, with nationalism, even with family though there it's not so easy, etc. But that's just the tip of the iceberg isn't it? Every moment thought identifies with a sensation, the 'I' is formed according to K. Have we looked at, investigated, enquired in ourselves if this is truly the wrong direction mankind took way back when. We look around and see the 'fallout' from what we are and must criticize what we see as the corruption, pollution, violence, brutality, ignorance, insanity, etc. but it seems to me that unless we see clearly that we, not they, are responsible for it all, it's just a misplaced and ultimately a waste of, precious energy.

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sat, 04 Jan 2020.

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Sat, 04 Jan 2020 #29
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 3093 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Every moment thought identifies with a sensation, the 'I' is formed according to K. Have we looked at, investigated, enquired in ourselves if this is truly the wrong direction mankind took way back when.

Do you mean desire, Dan? I see a new BMW that I like and immediately I want it...I feel I must have it....work hard to get one? Or i identify with the pleasure I get from golf or from winning a tennis match or from an expensive wine. I want MORE? Is that the essence of the 'I' as you understand it? What about beliefs? I may identify as a socialist or a conservative Republican...or identify with a religious belief. K said many times that beliefs divide mankind. That's part of the crisis too, no? K said many times that the self is the root cause of mankind's misery, if I'm not mistaken. Are you saying that desire is the root of the self?

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sat, 04 Jan 2020.

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Sat, 04 Jan 2020 #30
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1647 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Are you saying that desire is the root of the self?

The way I'm seeing it is that prior to their being a desire, which can be natural i.e. the desire for food clothing and shelter, thought's proper function as a 'tool' was to figure out how to get those things. How to satisfy those needs. Thought is a calculator, a computer, a problem solver, etc. But when thought 'identified' itself with the senses, sight, touch, hearing, taste, physical movement, etc., it 'usurped' (claimed 'ownership' of) their functions and by creating a thinker, an experiencer, an observer (all illusory) apart from itself, it now was no longer 'just' a tool or a calculator, etc. it now was an entity (fictitious) that was the center of the 'psyche'. And it gave itself a kind of permanence, a 'self-image'. It has a name, 'Dan', a physical body, it has a history, hopes and dreams, opinions, like, dislikes, hurts and pleasures, etc. But it actually 'has' none of these things, it is just thought masquerading as something it's not, a 'self'. If you agree, we can ask 'why' this happened and how can it be put straight.

This is a new way of looking for me and I welcome anyone pulling it apart or going deeper into this of how this 'process of thought's identifying' manifests.

As I see it now, the suggestion that K. was making regarding experimenting with 'looking at the tree' without naming it' was to separate the pure sense, in this case, of sight, from thought's identification with it. The same could be tried with the sense of hearing, taste, etc...

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sat, 04 Jan 2020.

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